Workers’ Compensation Claims: 6 Mistakes to Avoid (Pt. 2)
October 13, 2014
Resuming Workers’ Compensation Claims: 6 Mistakes to Avoid (Pt. 1), below, we will continue to point out some common mistakes people should be aware of and avoid making when it comes time to pursue workers’ compensation claims.
Workers’ Compensation Claims: More Mistakes to Sidestep
Mistake 3 – Not choosing a doctor they trust to treat their workplace injuries.
From state to state, the rules regarding how workers’ compensation claims are filed and what injured workers need to do after any injury can vary dramatically. In fact, while some states’ workers’ compensation laws require that injured workers see medical providers that have been specifically approved and chosen by an employer, in Oregon, there is no such requirement.
What this means for injured workers is that they CAN either:
- See their own doctors or choose a doctor whom they prefer
- Select a doctor from a managed care organization (MCO).
Regardless of the options (which will depend on the nature of an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance coverage), injured people should do their best to pick a doctor with whom they feel comfortable and in whom they have confidence. This is because the doctor overseeing the treatment of their workplace injuries will ultimately be responsible for:
- Diagnosing the nature and severity of the workplace injuries
- Providing the appropriate treatments
- Clearing an injured worker to return to work.
While each of the above-mentioned factors is critical to the value of an injured people’s workers’ compensation claims, they are also crucial to injured people’s recovery and future.
Mistake 4 – Returning to work too early.
Being hurt at work and then following a course of treatment to recovery can be quite a journey for injured workers, particularly if they suffer more severe workplace injuries (like, for instance, head or brain injuries, severe bone fractures, etc.). As the weeks or even months pass while workers focus on getting better, they can get restless and possibly even think about going back to work as soon as possible so that they can regain a sense of normalcy.
Regardless of how restless injured workers may be, however, it’s essential that they do NOT go back to work before they are physically and mentally able to do so. This is because, when injured workers return to their jobs too early, they:
- Can further compound their injuries (especially if they haven’t fully recovered yet)
- Can sabotage their workers’ compensation claims and benefits, likely causing them to be terminated.
Therefore, make sure that you have fully recovered before returning to work after sustaining an on-the-job injury. If a doctor has cleared you to return to work and you don’t believe you are ready, consider getting a second opinion regarding your condition, recovery and ability to return to work.
Be sure to look for the upcoming conclusion to this blog series!
Portland Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Savage Law Firm
Have you been injured while working? If so, you can rely on the Portland workers’ compensation lawyers at the Savage Law Firm to help you. For more than 30 years, our experienced and trusted attorneys have been dedicated to providing each of our clients with the highest quality legal services so they are able to obtain the compensation they deserve.
To learn more about our legal services and what we can do for you, call us at 503-222-0200 (in Portland) or at 206-957-7272 (in Seattle). You can also email us using the form on this page.
We represent clients in communities in both Oregon and Washington from our offices in Portland and Seattle.